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Strategic Leadership Team

Practical Action directors

Practical Action's senior management team, which has executive responsibilities, is called the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and it comprises the Chief Executive and twelve Directors, including seven Country and Regional Directors.

Simon Trace

Simon Trace
Chief Executive

Simon Trace took up his appointment as CEO of Practical Action in 2005. He has been associated with the organisation during a period of strong growth and rising international recognition for its work, particularly in the area of the environment and energy where Practical Action has won a number of international awards.

A civil engineer by training, Simon also studied anthropology. Simon's career has principally been in community development, in the fields of soil and water conservation or water and sanitation, and he has spent time with a number of agencies, including periods of secondment to CARE and Unicef. He also spent a total of 10 years in Zambia and Nepal prior to moving to London to take up a series of positions with WaterAid, including Asia Regional Manager and Head of International Operations. Prior joining Practical Action, Simon was Strategic Development Director for the UK NGO WaterAid.

Simon's blog »

Paul Smith Lomas

Paul Smith Lomas
International Director

Paul is Practical Action's International Director, and is responsible for the overall operation of its programmes and consulting service which it runs around the world. He is also a member of the Corporate Management Team, which is responsible for organisational strategy.

Paul's professional background is as a mechanical engineer. He worked originally in the water treatment industry in the UK, before going on a VSO assignment in 1985 to Eastern Sudan, where he set up water and sanitation systems for refugee populations from Eritrea & Ethiopia. He then worked with ActionAid in the Nuba Mountains, still focussing on public health engineering with rural communities.

After a short spell in the commercial sector, Paul returned to the voluntary sector in 1991, as Technical Adviser for Oxfam, based in the UK. He was awarded an MBE for services to international development in recognition of his leadership of Oxfam's work responding to the Kosovo crisis.

Immediately prior to joining Practical Action, Paul was the Regional Director for Oxfam in the Horn & Eastern Africa, where he managed a large programme covering development, campaigning, and emergency response.

Paul's blog »

Margaret Gardner

Margaret Gardner
Marketing and Communications Director

Margaret joined Practical Action in 2000, where she has established a successful marketing and communications area including overseeing the rebranding from ITDG to Practical Action. Her team lead on communications, campaigning, impact through knowledge sharing, education and fundraising. She also oversees the development of Practical Action Publishing.

Margaret is the former Vice Chair of BOND (British NGOs for Development) and is a former Trustee of the YWCA.

Margaret is interested in the potential of global movements to deliver sustainable change. She began her career in commercial marketing - working for the 80s giants Coloroll and Lonrho. In the 1990s Margaret decided to align her work more fully with her principles and moved to the UK's leading fair trade organisation Traidcraft, working extensively across Africa and Asia, to develop Traidcraft's Market information and market access services and providing capacity building to businesses and their support organisations internationally.

Passionate about social justice and community, she continues to be excited by the role technology can play in poverty reduction and ambitious for Practical Action's work.

Margaret's blog »

John Lockett

John Lockett
Finance Director
Prior to joining Practical Action John spent eight exciting and rewarding years as Head of Finance at WaterAid. Prior to this he worked for various large commercial organisations in financial management, systems development and business analysis roles. He qualified as a chartered management accountant in 1999, holds a degree in economics and a Masters in development economics (South Asia), and is also a keen student of psychology. John has worked and travelled widely in Africa, Asia and South America, spending four years overseas.

Veena Khaleque

Veena Khaleque
Bangladesh Director

Veena has been Bangladesh Country Director since 1997. She has a background in economics with 23 years experience in the Bangladesh development sector. Her previous roles included CIDA, UNDP and the World Bank. It was the profound experience of working with the poorest communities with ActionAid motivated her to do the work she does today.

She enjoys meeting people, finding their problems, and trying to provide solutions. She dislikes anything unfair and unjust and has a passion to explore big, new and risky challenges.

Alfonso Carrasco

Alfonso Carrasco
Latin America Director

Alfonso trained as a sociologist, and has held academic posts at universities in Perú and Finland. After his return to Perú he worked as a Consultant for UNESCO, FINNIDA and the IDRC amongst others. He also worked as a regional and urban Planner for INADUR in Lima. In 1989 Alfonso joined Practical Action (then ITDG) as a social scientist, specialising in rural energy, before becoming Regional Director in 1994.

Achyut Luitel

Achyut Luitel
Nepal Director

Achyut is trained as a Civil Engineer and has over two decades of experience in the development sector, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Helvetas. During this time he has gained practical knowledge in many different kinds of rural infrastructure programmes.

He was part of the core team involved in the design of DFID's transport and livelihood programme (Rural Access Programme) between 2000 and 2001, leading this team until early 2006 when he joined Practical Action as the Country Director, Nepal in March 2006.

He feels that having the opportunity to work at Practical Action is quite a unique and exciting experience. He likes the people centred approach, using technology to fight poverty. He also feels that Practical Action always offers a learning environment and encourages people to come up with ideas which can change people's lives in a meaningful way.

Ernest Mupunga

Ernest Mupunga
Southern Africa Director

An agriculturalist by training, specialising in dairying, Ernest also has an MSc in business and an MBA. He has been in international development for the last 17 years and has worked in a number of organizations in the public, private and NGO sectors. Ernest has worked on a number of national programs including dairy development in Zimbabwe and the Southern Africa region, and is the chair of the Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust, a board that influences policy on dairy issues and brings together representatives from the farming community, processors, service providers and government.

Grace Mukasa

Grace Mukasa
East Africa Director

Grace Alice Mukasa joined Practical Action as Regional Director for East Africa in April 2011.  Her career began as a secondary school teacher in Uganda, following a first degree at Makerere University, Uganda, Grace took a post graduate diploma in planning and management at the Institute of Teacher Education in Uganda. She also has an MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. After teaching for a number of years she moved on to work for UNDP and the World Bank in Uganda. She has worked in the programme areas of Save the Children, Plan International and for VSO as Country Director for Zambia. Immediately before moving to Practical Action, she was Chief Executive of AMREF.

Grace's blog »

 

Contact us

Useful contact details for Practical Action: Addresses; telephone numbers; fax; email and website.

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Contact us

Useful contact details for Practical Action: Addresses; telephone numbers; fax; email and website.

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Board of Trustees

Practical Action is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity in the UK, under the direction of a Board of Trustees.

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Who we are

Practical Action is an international development charity with a difference. We work together with some of the world’s poorest women, men and children, helping to tackle poverty in the developing world through the innovative use of technology.

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History

A short history of Practical Action, formerly Intermediate Technology. In 1965, radical economist and philosopher Fritz Schumacher observed that conventional aid, based on capital-intensive, large-...

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Strategic Leadership Team

Practical Action's senior management team, which has executive responsibilities, is called the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and it comprises the Chief Executive and twelve Directors, including seven Country and Regional Directors.

Read more

Strategic Leadership Team

Practical Action's senior management team, which has executive responsibilities, is called the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and it comprises the Chief Executive and twelve Directors, including seven Country and Regional Directors.

Read more

Strategy 2007-12

Our work is organised into four strategic aims: reducing vulnerability, making markets work for the poor, improving access to infrastructure services and responding to new technologies.

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Reducing vulnerability

Our Reducing Vulnerability projects help poor people to use technology to cope with natural disasters, environmental degradation and civil conflict.

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Making markets work for the poor

Practical Action’s Markets and Livelihoods projects support small producers to overcome poverty and sustain their livelihoods by improving their ability to access, and get more from, the market.

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Improving access to services

We help poor communities gain access to basic services – water, sanitation, housing and electricity.

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Closing the technology gap

We help poor communities respond to the challenges of new technologies, helping them to access effective technologies that can change lives forever.

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Annual report and accounts 2009-10

Practical Action's annual report and accounts for 2007-8 are available to download as a PDF file. They include a review of our international programmes against strategic objectives, the report of t...

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Information for teachers

An introduction to Practical Action, with links and documents for teachers.

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Our distinctive practical approach

Practical Action's approach to poverty reduction is based on three key attributes: people focussed, practical answers and sustainable solutions.

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How we are funded

A breakdown of Practical Action's income and expenditure. Practical Action depends on the support of individuals, trusts, NGOs and goverments to deliver its work to poor communities worldwide. The majority of spending is directly on our programmes round the world.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Practical Action and its work.

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Information leaflets document library

A series of introductory leaflets from Practical Action on our programme work and countries of operation.

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Practical Action organisation

Practical Action is a registered charity in the UK and a company limited by guarantee, under the direction of a Board of Trustees.

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